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Nextgen Announces $850 Million Bandwidth Boost

[Sydney, AUSTRALIA] Nextgen Networks will develop an $850 million (US $531 million) national optic fibre network of approximately 8400km in length extending from Brisbane to Perth via Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Nextgen Networks is a business venture between Leighton Contractors and Macquarie Bank. Lucent Technologies will be the supplier of technology and services. Nextgen plans to be "Australia's first true independent, wholesale high bandwidth network owner and operator." Lucent Technologies will provide optic fibre technology as well as operations and maintenance support once the network has been completed. Bandwidth services will be marketed to domestic and international telecommunications carriers, ISPs, major corporates and government users.

The project will be financed by debt and equity. Project debt has been underwritten by Deutsche Bank and Macquarie Bank will place equity with local and overseas institutions.

Nextgen Networks expects to create more than 1000 new jobs in the design and construction period and 250 jobs in the operating phase.

Nextgen said it would work closely with state and local governments and community groups to manage environmental and access issues through the development of the network.



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